The tragedy that occurred at The Party Venue has shaken the Texas A&M University – Commerce student body.
Although the event was not school sanctioned, the majority of attendees go to school in Commerce.
As of 4 p.m. today, a suspect has been arrested and both victims have been identified.
The president of the campus, Dr. Mark Rudin, has allowed for all absences today to be excused so that those morning can have some time to grieve.
A vigil was scheduled for students in the Amphitheater so that they could grieve as a community. It has since been cancelled.
This response was unsatisfactory for students.
An initial email was sent out yesterday afternoon informing students of the events that occurred in Greenville and that counseling was available for those in need.
However, many students took issue with the line:
“There is a tremendous amount of misinformation revolving around this off-campus event.”
To readers, it reads as insensitive and the administration responded accordingly with an apology email that read:
“We recognize that our previous messaging related to the events in Greenville last night may have come across as insensitive. This was not the intent. The purpose was to inform our community that the shooting did not happen on campus, as some media outlets were reporting.”
Since then, several Twitter polls have been started by students asking whether or not they feel safe coming to classes so soon after this weekend’s tragedy.
In 24 hours, a poll started by Twitter user, Destynie, a student in Commerce, asking “do you feel safe going to classes/on campus employment tomorrow?” had over 1,800 votes, with 86% saying “no.”
The East Texan started a separate poll asking, “do you feel like the administration’s response was adequate in light of the recent tragedy that faced our school? Why or why not?”
Within eight hours, there were over 300 votes with 84% saying, “no.”
Another student with the Twitter name, Diamond, sent out a message urging students to send out the hashtag #WEDEMANDTIME.
“The students of Texas A&M University – Commerce demand the cancellation of classes for at least two academic days,” the message read.
“Our mental, physical and emotional health should remain a priority. To expect students to go to class after some of our peer witnessed their friends get shot and die is extremely tone deaf. The lack of empathy for the victims and the disrespect being displayed by this campus is disturbing.”
The student body president, Kelsey Deckard, sent out an email to students expressing empathy for those affected and was well received by the students.
“My heart goes out to all of those who lost their lives and all of those who were hurt as well,” the email read.
“I also want to sincerely apologize to all of the families and friends who lost someone that they love. The event that took place last night was terrifying. I witnesses it myself and I truly feel everyone’s pain. I hope this event brings us together as a student body.”
UPDATE: All classes have been cancelled for Tuesday, October 29 and Wednesday, October 30 as confirmed by an email recently sent to students from Dr. Rudin.
“We hear you. Your mental, physical and emotional health remain our priority.”
“All essential services, including residential life and dining operations, will be open on a normal schedule.”